This series, "the longest-running cooking program on radio," began November 7, 1933 on CBS and concluded October 9, 1954 on NBC. The CBS episodes were initially fifteen minutes long and devoted to cooking tips and recipes.
Before the show switched to NBC in 1948, it had expanded to thirty minutes, and there it became part of the "NBC Saturday morning parade of stars".
The new version, introduced informally by the announcer as "Mary Lee on NBC," was an unusual but effective generic hybrid. Each episode begins with "The Story of the Week", a light domestic drama about fifteen minutes in length featuring young married couple Jim and Sally Carter. These segments have much in common with the many radio sitcoms of the day. In one show, we find Jim seized by jealousy because an old friend of his is flirting outrageously with Sally right before his eyes. The very next week Sally has to deal with the fact that one of the neighbors, a "cute redhead", is helping Jim out in his business a little too often and far too enthusiastically to suit her.
After the story in each episode comes "The Recipe of the Week". Economy is emphasized here, but we are also reminded of the time when no dinner was considered complete without bread and dessert. The Father's Day meal presented June 18, 1949 for example consists of braised round steak, fried potatoes and green beans, vegetable slaw, rolls and butter, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, and coffee with milk and sugar. Using the sponsor's inexpensive Pet Milk product in preparing most of the dishes helped hold the cost to $2.06 for a meal serving four people.
The NBC shows conclude with "Today's Recipe for Happiness," in which Mary Lee delivers a warm serving of homespun wisdom. An example: "What more can you ask of life than a glad new day each morning, with work to do and loved ones to smile at across the breakfast table?" Indeed!
Mary Lee was in fact a nutritionist and an accomplished chef. Pet Milk ("the first evaporated milk") sponsored the program throughout its run.
OTRR Certification Information:Series Name: The Mary Lee Taylor Program
Certification Status: OTRR Certified Accurate
Certification Date: October 25, 2007
Certification Version: Version 1
Number of CDs: 1
From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
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Relax, listen, and enjoy!
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Accurate but also indicates that the series is as complete as possible – it includes all extant episodes.
August 18, 2009 Subject:
no player no mp3 downloads
If this show had these I would listen
July 13, 2008 Subject:
Enjoyable, if not a touch sappy, radio show
I have been listening to this series and am almost finished with the run. It is a nice, simple show that harks back to simpler times. Sometimes the storyline of the series was a bit silly, especially how naive Sally could be. This is an enjoyable show that I recommend many to give a shot. And listening to the recipes is fun. I am sure many can be done today, just some retooling is necessary. I do wish that there were more shows available. :)